Czechoslovakia? No problem…

helping-hands“I’m sorry. He won’t be back in the office until a week from Tuesday. Please call then.” A typical response. Professional. No complaints. We all understand that being out of the office means being unavailable for work-related matters and we don’t expect him to interrupt his golf game or his very important meeting in China to answer our questions. However, when it comes to saving a life, Ezer Mizion will not accept such a response. What happened? Here’s the story.

Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry has saved the lives of over 2000 patients around the globe. Recently, a call came in from Schneider’s Hospital that a six year old child needed a transplant as soon as possible.  Is there a genetic match available? A search was done. Success. Among the 800,000 registrants on the database, an excellent DNA match was found. The potential donor was contacted. She’ll be happy to donate but there’s one problem. The next level of testing must be done asap and she is currently in Brno in the Czech Republic. “Can I make an appointment with the lab for when I return in a few weeks?”  A natural response. Polite. Professional. The Ezer Mizion staff member could simply note on records: Donor out of country. Testing will be done when returns.  The file would then be closed pending her return. The patient? Perhaps his condition would still be such that he can benefit from the transplant. Perhaps not. Ezer Mizion was not going to take that chance.bmr tubes

Linked to Life, another division of Ezer Mizion that utilizes a What’s App program to make vital contacts worldwide, was called. Thousands of screens lit up while the test tubes were being prepared. ‘We need a volunteer to drive vital test tubes from Petach Tikva to the airport in Tel Aviv to meet someone going on the 3:50 flight to Vienna. In moments, a volunteer responded and the tubes were on their way. While he was driving, screens lit up again looking for someone scheduled to be on the flight to take the tubes. Bzzzz. Responding. Am at airport at Gate 123. I’ll take it.  Another Linked to Life volunteer was waiting at the Prague airport and drove the package to the Chabad House. The head of the Chabad House drove through the night to Brno and used his contacts to have the clinic opened in the middle of the night to draw blood from the potential donor. More clicks while the now-filled test tubes were making their way back to Brno. Anyone traveling from Prague to Israel on next flight? By the next morning, another Ezer Mizion Linked to Life volunteer was waiting in the airport at Tel Aviv to transport the tubes to the Bone Marrow Registry in Petach Tikvah. Less than twenty-four hours. Mission accomplished.

Living in the US and like to join Linked to Life? SMS: 011 972 52 580 8936

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Because of You!

website bmr update template

 

 

January 2017 – Bone Marrow Donor Registry Activity Summary

 

27 lifesaving transplants

12 of them from personalized donor pools

2,377 total transplants

843, 373 members in registry

 

bmr 1 17 16508080_798750436944561_1670055473141759450_nOf these, 12 were made possible by funding from personalized donor pools. Continue reading Because of You!

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A Shining Example

pr bmr Lieut Colonel Yossi CohenFor more than twenty years, Lieutenant Colonel Yossie Cohen has been involved in extensive military operational activity as, until recently, head of the General Staff’s Operations Brigade for the Southern Front. He was engaged in many a battle for his country and it was he who coined the names of operations “Protective Edge” and “Pillar of Defense.” Involved in life and death decisions, the few moments he had spent as a young man ten years before at the Ezer Mizion Registration Station, filling out a one-page form was certainly not in the forefront of his mind.   Continue reading A Shining Example

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The Inaugurating of the New Netivot Building

pr Netivot bldg 2016 ok to use“I would wake up in the morning and my mind would begin to churn. Will the deal go through? Will Moishe remember his spelling for the big test today? Can we afford that vacation my wife wants so badly? That was before I attended the inauguration of the new Ezer Mizion building in Netivot and heard Chananya Chollak, Ezer Mizion’s founder, speak. His message was clear. We wake up in the morning and feel fine. Shouldn’t our first thought be: How can I help those that do not wake up feeling fine?”  Thus said an attendee of the inauguration of the new Netivot building who has since registered as an Ezer Mizion volunteer. Continue reading The Inaugurating of the New Netivot Building

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Surprise in the Mail

IDF celebration 2016 bLast week, Racheli Klakner (39), a lawyer and arbitrator from Ganei Tikvah, received an unexpected envelope in the mail: An honorary medallion and letter of thanks from Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Donor Registry for her responding to the call to save a life with her bone marrow donation.

A few years ago, Racheli had gotten a phone call from Ezer Mizion’s registry informing her that she was found to be a good match for a bone marrow donation for a patient who needed her stem cells in order to survive and get better.

Klakner was thrilled by the phone call and felt that a huge privilege had fallen in her lap. Accompanied by her husband and son, she went to a meeting to hear about the options and the procedures. After reading articles and research studies, they decided to make the donation in the operating room under full anesthesia. Last week, she received an honorary medallion from Ezer Mizion for her efforts.

It is very important to Klakner to raise awareness about the importance of donating stem cells and saving lives. She wants to convey this message and tell her story, for the benefit of all the people who are afraid or are put off by the idea.

“If it will encourage others to donate, if they will come to understand the significance and the power of giving, if they will grasp what it is to save the life of another person, or if anyone who is uncertain about donating stem cells will be persuaded by my words to go ahead with it, then I will have succeeded in saving another life, and it is well worth it.”

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Emissaries or Angels

cell-phone-300x300It’s erev Shabbos on a winter Friday. They thought they were already frantically busy but then a call came in on What’s App. The remainder of their personal lists fell by the wayside with nary a thought. It’s an emergency and they are ‘volunteer soldiers’ in the ‘Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life army’ (the real reason What’s App was invented). It may be a Shabbos meal to prepare, together with other volunteers, for a family whose mother was suddenly hospitalized. Perhaps it’s medication available only at his neighborhood pharmacy that must be delivered before Shabbos to an ill child in a more remote area or maybe it’s a desperate   search for a missing Alzheimer’s patient. Within moments there are enough volunteers. Each mission is accomplished. Each person is cared for. Each volunteer glows with satisfaction. And they know they are appreciated.  As the candles are set up moments before candle lighting, a message from the Ezer Mizion coordinator is received on What’s App by all volunteers: Yaakov sent malachim…” ­– Some explain this to mean literally “angels”; others interpret it as “shlichim,” emissaries.

The Tzemach Tzaddik asks: According to those who maintain that these were actual angels, why would Yaakov employ divine angels for a mission to his brother Esav??

He answers that these were mortal emissaries. But since the mission was so difficult, by agreeing to do it, they were elevated to the level of divine angels… because one who makes a great effort for another perShabbosson and bears difficulties for his sake, is considered “literally an angel.”

…And you, who respond to Linked to Life requests with such joy and readiness, even on these short Fridays … you are truly “angels.”

Have a tranquil and joyous Shabbos!

The job is never done. Unfortunately, requests continue to pour in. Over Chanukah, it was two Bar Mitzvahs. The first was for the son of a cancer patient who was recently niftar. The very security of the boy’s home was shaken. No longer would father and son daven (pray) side by side. l2l bar mitzvah 7No longer would he see the sheen of pride in his father’s eyes as they reviewed the week’s learning on Shabbos. The very pillar of his life had shattered but ‘thirteen’ was fast approaching. Was he also to miss out on what every boy looks forward to for years? His mother did not have the emotional energy to plan a major event. He understood that. But did that mean that the day would be just a day like every other?  He swallowed hard. He had accepted his father’s death. He’d grown up fast, this young man.  He would accept this, too. He would. But Ezer Mizion would not.  It’s Linked to Life Division got to work. A venue.  Invitations. Food-only the nicest would do. And suddenly there it was. The Bar Mitzvah he was sure would never be.

That same week of Chanukah, a second Bar Mitzvah was born. This one was in answer to the timid, whispered request of the Bar Mitzvah boy whose medical condition was not very good. Cancer. As desperate as he was for what every boy dreams of, he felt hesitant to ask, what with everything else that Ezer Mizion was already doing for him.  The faint whisper- no louder than the movement of a butterfly’s wings- reverberated throughout the Linked to Life membership producing a resplendent  affair which brought a grin to the face that hadn’t smiled  in weeks. Was he surprised? Lets listen in on a conversation between the mother and a Linked to Life volunteer:l2l bar mitzvah 3

My son asked me: “Maybe we should ask the people from Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life to daven for me to get better?”

“Why?” I asked.

“Very simple…”, he replied, “Because everything we ask of them ­­- comes true… So let’s ask them for this too, and maybe it will also come true and I will get better…”

The volunteer adds:

Dear friends!

I don’t know about you, but I’m writing this with tears in my eyes…

How many zechusim (merits) this sick child has given us …!

Let’s pray today at candle lighting for the refu’ah (well-being)  of the child

Chai Yehuda ben Rachel

B’soch she’ar cholei Yisrael (among all those afflicted with illness) .

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Shabbos Meals for Familes of Patients

ShabbosEvery Friday night, in every Jewish home, a platter of roast chicken appears on the table and the cholent can be heard bubbling in the crockpot. We take it for granted. It always was and it always will be. Until one week when it isn’t. No mouth-watering aromas emanating from the kitchen.  No frantic calls of, “Put away the game right now and set the table. Shabbos is in eight minutes!” No Mommy standing quietly by the flickering candles, praying for those she loves.  Where is Mommy? The mainstay of the home? The creator of the Shabbos atmosphere? Mommy is in the hospital, undergoing chemo. And even though the clock reads past the time for sunset, Shabbos, as the family knows it, had not yet entered their home. Grandma lives miles away in California  and Abba, utterly devastated by recent events, is hardly functioning. Ten-year-old Chavi spreads peanut butter on bread to feed herself and her siblings. Continue reading Shabbos Meals for Familes of Patients

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Every Stroke a Strike against Cancer

pr Israel-map-Carta-t1

Caesaria Golf Course in Israel changes its face every Thanksgiving weekend. A Peter Dye course, it poses an invigorating  challenge to the best of players while remaining enjoyable to the average golfer. On each Thanksgiving weekend, however, the challenges consist of so much more than hills and handicaps. Each player enters the course with a sense of purpose. He is there to help save lives. Every stroke is a strike against cancer.

 

The event benefits Ezer Mizion’s International Jewish Bone Marrow Registry which has saved the lives of over 2000 Jews around the globe. These were cancer patients whose sole chance of survival had been a transplant. The life-saving transplant could only have taken place if a genetically matching donor was found. Ezer Mizion’s Registry, the largest Jewish registry in the world with over 670,000 potential donors, found those DNA matches, thus providing a future for young grandparents, Mommies and Daddies of young families and tiny children who would now be able to grow up.

 

Those who make it all happen: Herman Weiss and Simmie Chiger
Those who make it all happen: Herman Weiss and Simmie Chiger

‘Hole-in-One’ Donor Pool has been created whereby all proceeds of the annual golf event are earmarked for genetic testing for a specific block of potential donors. The committee heads are notified each time a transplant of stem cells by a donor, whose genetic testing was funded by the Pool, takes place. The notification begins with the electrifying words: You have saved a life.  To date,16  lives have been saved by the Hole-in-One pool since its inception seven years ago. As if to encourage this year’s participants, three of those sixteen transplants took place in October of 2016.

 

golf Israel 2016 carts w logos 15304448_755096737976598_7143135351909858764_oWhat do the participants think? Let’s hop in a golf cart and ask them. Ran Saher, CEO of Maccabi Healthcare excitedly informs all around him, “Today wasn’t only about winning. It was about saving lives! Says Sheldon Shein, Executve Chairman of Hennig Diamonds: Playing in the Ezer Mizion tournament makes you think. You realize that there’s a lot bigger things in life than getting the ball in the hole. By joining the tournament, we can accomplish a ‘hole’ lot. Jackie Mukmelm, CEO and President of MAN Properties, “Just imagine a person who has given up hope and thinks that he will soon be leaving his family forever. Then one day, he receives a phone call   that he never thought he would get. It’s Ezer Mizion and they found a DNA match. He’s going to live! Wow! And to think that we, with our playing here today, accomplished that!

 

Thanks to all of you- those residing in Israel and those who visited Israel from across the ocean- for participating. We look forward to your joining us next year on November 20th, 2017.

 

Congratulations to our 2016 winners.

First Place: Stephane Benguigui, David Dadi, David Fitoussi, Jonathon Ohayon

Second Place: Mark Joffee, Saul Katzman, Neil Rubinstein, David Turner

Third Place: Elizur Agus, Eytan Bar-Chama, Jack Garih, Zev Weissberg

Most Honest Team: Ari Gruenspecht, Aaron Miller, Daniel Rubel, Simmy Zimbalist

 

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Because of You!

website bmr update templateNOVEMBER 2016 – BMDR ACTIVITY SUMMARY

 

33 lifesaving transplants
17 from personalized donor pools
2,321 total transplants
831, 388 members in registry Continue reading Because of You!

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Bags of Chessed

IDF celebration 2016 fCountless guests converged at the palatial home of President Rivlin and, the following day, upon the Hilton, Israel Ballroom to participate in the grand event celebrating the achievements of  Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Registry which has saved 2200 Jewish lives. Requests arrive regularly from 47 countries worldwide. Come join us on an emotional roller coaster as one speaker after another demonstrates the organization’s accomplishments. Continue reading Bags of Chessed

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